Syria says arrests person responsible for Damascus bombing

DUBAI (Reuters) - Syrian authorities have arrested a person said to have carried out a bomb attack last week that killed four senior security officials, an Iranian news agency reported on Tuesday.

The suspect worked at the security headquarters in Damascus where the bombing took place, Fars news agency quoted Syrian parliament member Mohammad Zahir Ghanoum as saying.

The attack killed the defense minister, a general, the brother-in-law of President Bashar al-Assad and Syria’s intelligence chief, the most significant strike against the country’s leadership as it struggles to suppress an armed rebellion.

“The agent who committed the explosion against the Syria Supreme National Security Council building was arrested,” Ghanoum said.

“The arrested individual is a staff member of that same building but I cannot give further details. Probably in the near future this person’s confession will be broadcast.”

A security source told Reuters last week the bomber was a bodyguard entrusted with protecting the closest members of Assad’s circle. Syrian state television said a suicide bomber was responsible.

Ghanoum said the person responsible had been hired by Syria’s enemies but the Assad government would not allow the United States, Israel, Turkey or Qatar to weaken Syria’s security.

(This story has been corrected to fix number of top security officials killed to four from three)

Reporting By Yeganeh Torbati; Editing by Angus MacSwan